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Martian Chronicles

April 16, 2013

This article on Mars is worth picking up the latest New Yorker (if you don’t already subscribe–I cannot survive Ohio without it). The fascinating details of recent missions, and the backdrop of “Is there life?” research for the past thirty years. Here’s a taste:

“There once were two planets, new to the galaxy and inexperienced in life. Like fraternal twins, they were born at the same time, about four and a half billion years ago, and took roughly the same shape. Both were blistered with volcanoes and etched with watercourses; both circled the same yellow dwarf star–close enough to be warmed for life, but not so close as to be blasted to a cinder….

“Like a delinquent sibling, Mars is all we’ve got–the next Earth-like planet may be in the Tau Ceti system, seventy trillion miles away–and its virtues nearly redeem its vices. Mars has sunlight, carbon, water, and nitrogen. Its surface is no more unpleasant than the interior of a volcanic vent, where bacteria thrive….”

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